Does a pseudonym allow Web3 millionaires to avoid public scrutiny? The community responded violently when Buzzfeed revealed the true creators of the BAYC NFT collection.
The real-life “Gordon Goner” and “Gargamel” are Greg Solano and Wylie Aronow, according to Buzzfeed. Buzzfeed is an American online media and entertainment firm.
The Article that ‘Doxxed’ the Founders
On February 4th, journalist Kate Notopoulos published “We Found the Real Names of Bored Ape Yacht Club’s Pseudonymous Founders.”
Hence, Notopoulos discovered the pair’s names by browsing Yuga Labs’ public data. Wylie Aronow’s address and other facts linked to Greg Solano’s Delaware incorporation.
The tech journalist noted that there are real reasons why a CEO or founder utilizes their true identity rather than a pseudonym.
Executives of publicly traded companies must be mentioned in SEC disclosures and reports. Banking regulations and “know your customer” laws often demand executives of smaller private companies to use their real names.
Additionally, these regulations, according to Notopoulos, are intended to keep terrorists, criminals, and sanctioned countries by doing business in the United States.
The story’s non-consensual release of Aronow and Solano’s identification, on the other hand, enraged Web3 users. Who are dubbing it “doxxing” rather than an appropriate journalistic technique?
Buzzfeed Receives Backlash
As “typical Buzzfeed garbage,” “doxxing people for hits and ad income,” said crypto podcaster “Cobie.” “There was absolutely no basis to dox these guys,” said venture entrepreneur Mike Solana, calling them “essentially cartoon apes.”
In response to the report, Messari founder Ryan Selkis released a 2009 tweet from Notopoulos that contained a homophobic slur.
However, Notopoulos seemed indifferent about the criticism. According to a screenshot she posted, someone threatened to make her “location, employment, parents’ and siblings’ addresses” public.
Yuga Labs announced on Feb. 4 (the same day the article publishes) that A16z, a renowned Silicon Valley VC firm, has an interest in investing $5 billion in the NFT collection.
Thus, Solano and Aronow aren’t the only prominent crypto figures to out publicly this year. Cointelegraph reported on Jan. 27 that ‘@0xSifu,’ the genuine name of DeFi protocol co-founder “Wonderland,” also co-founded the now-defunct Canadian exchange QuadrigaCX.